Noah out against Timberwolves with ankle injury

The Chicago Bulls have scratched Joakim Noah from the lineup

against Minnesota because of a sprained right ankle.

Noah practiced on Tuesday and tested the ankle out in pregame

warmups on Wednesday night, but was unable to go. Kurt Thomas

started in his place.

Noah is averaging 12.1 points and 11 rebounds, and the Bulls

rely on his board work to start their fast breaks.

The Timberwolves got All-Star Kevin Love back in the lineup

after a three-game absence because of a strained left groin. The

NBA’s leading rebounder did not make last week’s trip to Dallas and

Oklahoma City and also sat out the game Sunday against Boston.

Love is averaging 20.3 points and 15.4 rebounds.